Recent Fire Damage Posts

Cleaning Your New Home After Purchasing from Smokers

8/15/2023 (Permalink)

Buying a new home is an exciting milestone, but if the previous owners were smokers, there may be some unpleasant odors and residue left behind. Cleaning a home that has been occupied by smokers requires thoroughness and attention to detail. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of effectively cleaning your new home and eliminating any lingering smoke-related issues.

Assess the Situation

Before diving into the cleaning process, take a walk through the house to assess the extent of the smoke damage. Pay close attention to areas like walls, ceilings, carpets, curtains, furniture, and ventilation systems, as these are common places where smoke residue can accumulate.

Begin the cleaning process by opening all windows and letting fresh air circulate throughout the house. This will help dissipate the smoke odor and improve air quality.

Clean Surfaces

Start by dusting and wiping down all surfaces in the home. Use a mixture of warm water and mild detergent to clean walls, ceilings, cabinets, and countertops. Don't forget to clean light fixtures, blinds, and window sills as well. If necessary, repeat this step to ensure that any residual smoke residue is completely removed.

Smoke odors tend to cling to carpets and upholstery, so deep cleaning is essential. Consider renting a carpet cleaner or hiring professionals to steam clean all carpets. For upholstery, use a fabric-safe cleaner or consult with a professional upholstery cleaning service.

Treat Floors and Hard Surfaces

Smoke residue can settle on hard surfaces such as hardwood, tile, or laminate floors. Use a floor cleaner appropriate for the specific surface to remove any remaining residue. Pay close attention to corners and crevices, as these areas can trap smoke particles.

If any drapes, curtains, or other washable fabric items are left behind, be sure to launder or dry clean them. This will help eliminate any smoke odors that may be present. Also, consider washing or dry cleaning any clothing left in closets or drawers.

Replace Filters and Clean Ventilation Systems

HVAC systems and air ducts can harbor smoke odors and residue. Replace the filters in your heating and cooling systems to improve indoor air quality. Consider hiring professionals to clean and inspect the air ducts to ensure any smoke particles are removed.

To eliminate smoke odors, use odor neutralizers or deodorizing products specifically designed for smoke remediation. Place these products strategically throughout the house, paying extra attention to areas with persistent odors.

For stubborn smoke odors that persist even after cleaning, consider repainting the walls and applying a sealant. This will help lock in any remaining odors and prevent them from permeating through the fresh paint.

If the smoke damage is extensive or you are unsure how to proceed, it's best to consult professional smoke remediation experts. They have the specialized knowledge and equipment to thoroughly clean and restore your home. Cleaning a home that was previously occupied by smokers requires time, effort, and attention to detail. By following these steps and being thorough in your cleaning process, you can effectively remove smoke residue, eliminate odors, and create a fresh and inviting living space in your new home. Remember, if the task seems overwhelming, it's always a good idea to seek the assistance of professionals who specialize in smoke remediation.

8 Essential Steps to Take When Filing a Fire Insurance Claim

4/12/2023 (Permalink)

insurance File an insurance claim when your property suffers from a fire loss.

Fire insurance is the most basic type of property insurance. It covers your home, its contents and any other structures on your property from fire damage. Fire insurance also protects against lightning strikes and other natural disasters that can cause fires such as floods or earthquakes.

You should have fire insurance because a house fire can be devastating to your finances and emotional wellbeing.

Filing an accurate claim helps ensure that insurers stay honest about paying out claims fairly when people need them most.

Step 1: Gather Information

The first step in filing a claim is to gather all of the documentation related to your insurance policy, including:

  • Contact information for your insurance company and agent.
  • The name of your policyholder and any other people covered by the policy (if applicable).
  • Documentation of the fire itself, such as photographs or video footage taken at the scene, as well as receipts or invoices for repairs made after the incident.

Step 2: Contact Your Insurance Company

The next step is to contact your insurance company and let them know about the fire. This can be done by calling their toll-free number, emailing or visiting their website. Provide them with all of the information you gathered in step 1 so they can process your claim quickly and accurately.

Step 3: Schedule an Inspection

The next step in the process is to schedule an inspection with your insurance adjuster. This will involve providing them with information gathered in step 1, as well as allowing them access to the site of your fire damage so they can assess its extent and determine if it qualifies for coverage under your policy.

If you need help scheduling this appointment, contact us today!

Step 4: Prepare an Inventory

The next step is to prepare an inventory of all items damaged or destroyed in the fire. This includes make, model, serial numbers and estimated value.

Step 5: File the Claim

After you've gathered all the information you need, it's time to file the claim.

The first step is submitting your claim to your insurance company. You can do this by phone or online; either way, make sure that any supporting documents are attached before submitting them. Include:

A detailed description of what was lost in the fire (for example, "a 40-inch flat-screen TV")

An inspection report from an approved third party who has inspected and assessed damages caused by the fire (this will help determine how much money they will pay out)

An inventory list detailing everything that was damaged or destroyed as a result of this incident

Step 6: Wait for Approval

Once you've filed your claim, the insurance company will review it and decide whether or not to approve it. This process can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks. If the claim is approved, you'll be notified by mail or email that your check is on its way.

If the company doesn't approve your claim right away, don't panic! They may require additional information or documentation before making a decision about whether or not they will pay out any money for damages caused by fire damage at home or business premises.

Step 7: Receive Payment

Once you have submitted your claim, it is important to be patient. The insurance company will review the documentation and make a decision about whether or not your claim is valid. This process can take several weeks, so don't worry if you don't hear back right away. Once they approve your claim, they will send payment for the damages caused by the fire.

Step 8: Make Repairs

Once the payment is received, you can use the money to make the necessary repairs to your property. If you don't know how much it will cost, ask an insurance agent or contractor. They can help you figure out what needs fixing and how much it will cost before making a claim.

4 Ways To Avoid a Fire When Barbecuing

8/29/2022 (Permalink)

Smiling man seasoning meat on the grill Nobody wants a family picnic ruined by a grill fire

Four Barbecue Fire Prevention Tips

Cooking outdoors is one of life’s great pleasures. However, safety guidelines should always be observed to avoid causing a grill fire. In addition to burning dinner and disappointing picnic guests, you never want your home in Ontarioville, IL, to catch ablaze. Avoid the inconvenience of hiring a residential fire restoration professional by adhering to these four tips.

1. Place Grills Strategically
Anything flammable near an operating grill has the potential to cause danger. Therefore, they should only be used in open spaces. Never rest your cooker beside a wall or fence. Tree branches can also be a hazard. Think carefully about where children and pets are likely to be playing.

2. Stay Clean
Grease accumulates during each instance your grill gets used. Over time, the buildup becomes hazardous. Avoid triggering a grill fire by cleaning yours every time a cooking session ends. Yes, it is laborious, but maintaining a sparkling grill is an essential responsibility for every BBQ pitmaster.

3. Never Abandon a Hot Smoker
When friends are near and drinks are flowing, you may be tempted to leave your station. Allowing meats to roast without a watchful eye upon them is a good way to cause a barbeque fire. Stay close by your grill until the job has concluded.

4. Finish Wisely
Your fiesta may have ended, but fires burn even after the music stops. Coals remain incredibly hot for long after they have been used. Over time, smoking embers can waft toward your home and cause unsightly smoke damage. Always distribute ashes over coals once grilling is done. Gas grills should have their tanks immediately removed and carried away. Avoid leakage by making sure valves are tightly closed.
Nobody wants a family picnic ruined by a grill fire. Besides disappointing guests who desire their meat medium-rare, it’s embarrassing when the fire department alerts the entire neighborhood of your barbequing ineptitude. Avoid these awkward situations by diligently observing proper cookout procedures.

Immediate Steps To Take After a Fire

3/29/2022 (Permalink)

Broken window, window frame with smoke If your home has been damaged by fire you should secure your home by making sure broken windows are boarded up.

Fire Restoration Process

A fire in your home in Hanover Park, IL, can leave behind a lot of devastation, and this experience can be overwhelming. Knowing the first few steps that you need to take can help to focus your attention and get the fire restoration process started as soon as possible so that everything can go back to normal again.

Call Cleanup Experts

Even a moderate fire is going to cause a lot of damage, and you will need to know what was destroyed not only by the fire but also the water used to put it out. This information, along with the estimated cost of fixing your home, will be useful when you file your fire insurance claim. Contact fire damage mitigation experts to handle the problem. They will walk you through every step of the process:

  • Assessment
  • Water removal
  • Material tear-out
  • Drying
  • Smoke cleaning
  • Rebuilding

Having a team that handles everything from the initial consultation to the final touches of fire restoration can help the cleanup go more smoothly.

Avoid the Damage

When your home is damaged, it's tempting to take matters into your own hands and start cleaning immediately. This is not a good idea when it comes to the cleanup after a fire, though. You don't know which parts of the structure are secure enough to be safe, or you may end up doing more damage to your home. It's best to wait for the experts to arrive.

Secure Your Home

The restoration process may take a while, particularly if there is a lot of damage. In the meantime, you will need to secure your home by making sure broken windows and any gaping holes left by the flames are boarded up. Your restoration team can advise and assist with this process as well.

Your home will likely need a lot of work after a fire, but the good news is that you don't have to do everything yourself. By enlisting the help of trusted fire restoration experts, you can rest assured that everything will be taken care of properly.

Three Reasons Why You Should Start the Fire Restoration Process Right Away

2/28/2022 (Permalink)

Broken window, porch fire damage Porch fire damage in Schaumburg, IL.

Fire Restoration Process

If you’ve just experienced a fire in your home in Schaumburg, IL, then the sight of your house might make you feel like your life will never be the same again. While a loss is inevitable in a large fire, a team of fire damage specialists can often take your damaged home and restore it to its original condition. While fire damage cleaning can be very effective in saving your home and preserving many of your items, it is imperative for the following three reasons that you act right away!

1. Lingering Smoke Causes Further Damage to Your Home

Smoke is extremely detrimental to the structure and appearance of your home. Staining, warping, corrosion, and a strong smoky odor will all occur as smoke makes its way through your home. Electronics also become hazardous and damaged when affected by smoke. To quickly restore items and structures affected by smoke damage before they become unrepairable, prompt action by trained professionals is essential.

2. The Structure of Your Home Can Collapse

When the fire restoration company arrives at your home, one of the first precautionary actions they’ll take after inspecting the damage is to secure your home. This makes the environment safer for everyone inside and prevents further damage from occurring. Boarding up walls and windows and placing tarps on fire-damaged roofs is the main method used.

3. Further Water Damage and Mold Growth Can Occur

If standing water is left in your home for an extended period of time after a fire occurs, there will be extensive damage to the structure of your home and mold will start to grow on wet surfaces. The sooner you start the fire restoration process the more effective you’ll be at preventing mold growth and water damage from occurring.

While the condition of your home post-fire can be an extremely overwhelming site to see, fire restoration specialists have the expertise and skills necessary to get your home back to normal. Prevent further damage by contacting them right away!

Commercial Property Insurance and Fire Damage

1/6/2022 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire Commercial fire damage in Keeneyville, IL.

Commercial Fire Insurance

Most commercial insurance policies cover fire damage. These policies should also cover additional or secondary damage caused by water used to extinguish a fire or smoke. The following factors may impact the cost and limits of a business insurance policy.

The Type of Business

Businesses that use hazardous or flammable equipment may have higher insurance premiums. These operations may involve

  • Alcohol
  • Chemicals
  • Cooking equipment
  • Smoking
  • Vehicles

The premiums for a bar, garage, or a conventional office building may vary widely based on the difference in fire risk levels. Business owners should make sure that a sufficient level of coverage is available for the potential costs of damage cleanup and restoration and liability.

Structural Components

A building made of combustible materials such as wood may pose a greater fire risk than a structure that is built out of fire-resistant materials. Owners should consider the risk of fire in the primary structure in addition to any additions or modifications. The degree to which building materials may succumb to fire and the distance of a business from the nearest fire station may drive up the cost of a commercial insurance policy.

Fire Safety Equipment

It is also crucial that a business be equipped with fire safety equipment. This may include

  • Alarms and detectors
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Sprinklers

Some regional building codes require hardwired fire alarms. These systems should also have a battery backup in case of power failure. Battery-powered smoke detectors should also be regularly tested and the batteries should be changed. Have fire suppression systems and equipment such as extinguishers periodically inspected to ensure that critical components will function in the event of a fire.

All of these factors may impact the costs of commercial insurance coverage for a business located in Keeneyville, IL. A business owner may want to compare commercial policies to find the right level of coverage for fire damage.